Touting for business: Can it be right to canvass by knocking on doors?

Russell Quirk

Door knocking, cold calling and continuous attempts to canvass for new business have long been considered as examples of poor practice when it comes to touting, which has been the subject of countless complaints over the years.

But Russell Quirk, co-founder of ProperPR, is advocating door knocking “as a means of winning business” in the latest released video clip from a recent roundtable discussion between eight industry leaders. The other panellists are not so keen on the idea. Are you?


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  1. If Carlsberg made Estate Agents…

    Door knocking is just begging. If the seller wanted to use you, because your reputation was good enough, they would have called you!

    1. jan-byers

      Rubbish – why would a business not want to approach someone who is selling when what they do is sell in that market.

      When I was an agent in Reading we gained loads of business by door knocking.

      By doing so we showed the vendor we were proactive and wanted the business.

      We were polite knocked at the door -introduced ourselves and said that we noted the house was on the market and how it was going.

      Opened the conversation. Which is what selling actually is.

      Very often we would be invited in for a coffee.

      Sometimes we would not get an instruction at  once but would do a few weeks later and we ere the agent who showed we wanted to do business and were proactive.

      Very often we would get a good fee for the same reason.

      I remember one lady who had a house t in Hatherley Road in Reading which was  on the market with another agent whose door I knocked.

      She wrote a complaint letter to head office saying the same as you – that if she wanted to use us she would have instructed us.

      2 weeks later she came into our office and asked if I still thought we could sell her house.

      Took it on that afternoon sale agreed next day.

      She wrote another letter to head office saying how brilliant we were.

      In your mind she should have waited for a lazy agent to eventually get a sale.

      If you want to sit back and wait for the phone to ring good luck.

      You are not a sales people – just order takers.

      I laugh when agents whine about fees and lack of instruction but just sit on the backside and wait for business to come to them.

      I am a developer now.

      I knock on doors of people whose house I think many work for development and contact people who have land that may be suitable for development

      Again I get a lot of business that way – again by showing I am proactive.

      Good luck waiting for the phone to ring in a tough market.

      1. If Carlsberg made Estate Agents…

        Referrals and recommendations have worked very well for me. My reputation is such that I don’t need to beg! It’s most unbecoming but you do what you need to.

  2. If Carlsberg made Estate Agents…

    I’ll say it again. Door knocking is just begging. If the seller wanted to use you, because your reputation was good enough, they would have called you!

  3. Agent Derbyshire

    Utter nonsense, if you’ve had to resort to this level of professionalism, then you’ve failed, time to move on to a different job!

    1. Will2

      Sorry but this is not professionalism on any level.

  4. Certus

    As an agent who wants the highest standards, I view this practice as papparazzi estate agency. It reinforces the low professional opinion held by the public. Does it work – yes I’m sure there are some successes but at the cost of reputational damage. Does a Neg worry about this or the targets that need to be met? Clearly the latter. If only ROPA delivered meaningful registration and licencing to really raise that standards bar!


  5. Will2

    Door knocking is NOT professional in any way and further reduces any professional standing estate agents may have had.  This in my opinion brings agents down to a level of ambulance chasing lawyers, double glazing salesmen, and ex prisoners flogging dusters on the door step. Moreover, it is an invasion of people’s privacy and if anything I would never consider an agent which had tried such a stunt.  I think some people need to understand what professionalism really is – you put your clients’ interest first.  It started to go wrong when people referred to it as the property industry in the 1980’s as opposed to the property profession. If you approve of door knocking put on your secondhand car salesman suite and get on as a low grade house flogger.

  6. Just my opinion

    And the race to the bottom continues. I remember being on a valuation when someone door knocked the client – what follows was probably the most cringeworthy conversation I had ever heard.  As has been said above, if you really need to resort to this kind of selling yourself then please leave the property profession.

  7. Richard Copus

    Add gutter estate agency to gutter politics.

  8. WITMM

    I’d actually like to know when the last time one of those in this video has actually been door-knocking. Not some romanticised time from back in the 1980s/1990s but in the last twelve months? How many doors did they knock on? How many instructions did it lead to? How much revenue (completions) did it ultimately achieve?

    You can loathe it, call them vermin gutter agents, scaring elderly clients and lacking creativity but can you make a business case for it being cost-effective?

    You’ll notice a lack of comments supporting the activity…hang on…got to go…someone at the door…

  9. RoryProperty

    Whether you agree or not, some will, some wont, but there is an art to door knocking. If done correctly, it works very well, if done badly its cringeworthy. Ive done it many times and had great success in doing so over the years, from an agents point of view, if you get half a dozen listings from it and sell them over the year, its worth it. Ive also had it done to me, they were poor attempts from inexperienced people who have probably been told to just ‘go and door knock’ and thats never going to work.

    The aim isnt to win the instruction there and then, its to have a conversation, ask them where they are moving to, it might be local, you can get their details and try and help them find their onward purchase, then over the weeks or months build a relationship with them, and when the time is right they will call you and give you their property to sell.

    Ive worked in the industry for many years, you cant re-invent the wheel, no matter how many people try.

    Its a people business, people buy (and sell) through good people. Sadly there are too many shoddy agents and outfits out there, people know when they have met a ‘good’ agent, you know straight away. Often its the individual within a company, not the company itself, its pot luck really!

    So whether you like it or not, it can be done in a tasteful manor, and if done right can be very effective.

  10. jan-byers

    None of you are sales people

    You wait for the phone to ring

    Put a house on righmove

    Then process the e mails

    You are admin clerks

    That is why you get low fees

    You are not worth anything more


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